My rating: 2 of 5 stars
“In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled. As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.” -GoodReads
I couldn’t connect with the main character, Nymia, because she is so damaged and broken and full of guilt that she can’t connect with the people around her. She’s so closed off. I mean, she’s a good character and wonderfully written, but I didn’t “get” her. She does have some good character development though, and she learns to befriend and trust those around her. Plus she has awesome stormy powers, and I liked seeing her journey of discovery with her Elemental abilities! There’s a trigger warning for self-harm since Nym cuts herself to create tattoos on her arms.
The politics and war and betrayal and all that spy stuff didn’t really entertain me. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for a war story. It was easy to follow and full of twists though. So good writing!
Curse you, evil cliffhangers! Why do authors delight in torturing their readers this way? I’m so angry right now, especially because the ONLY character that I liked was killed off in a beautific self-sacrificing scene of courageous love. Gah! Why you gotta kill the only one I liked? Everyone else is boring and stupid; why can’t you kill some of them instead?
I hated all the violence, torture, and possible sexual assault lurking around every corner. No one is actually sexually assaulted, but it’s always being hinted at. bleh. Makes the book pretty dark.
The villains are super creepy and gross! Good writing there, because I was really scared of those nasty villains. The glint of glee in their eye as they torture and maim, taking pleasure in other people’s pain, was just way too real, making the book even darker. Yep, it’s a dark book.
The twins, Breck and Colin, were fun characters, full of life and brightness in this dark book. That one spot of humor and light in the story made me like them both, although they can be sort of callous and self-centered in the midst of all their jokes. I could just feel the happy warmth radiating off those two!
Eogan is a pretty good character. He’s just too mysterious and random for me though. One minute he’s Mr. Nice Guy, and then he’s all mean and distant. One minute it’s Mr. Sensitivity with his feelings all hanging out to dry, then he’s closed off and it’s back to strict business. Dude, get it together! What’s with the double personality? I understand that he’s conflicted and that works for his character, but … I like characters who at least make sense half the time and I can guess at what’s going on in their heads. He IS a great complex character though! Maybe just too complex.
All in all, a fairly good story, and I will be continuing the rest of the books, because…. Gah! Cliffhangers!!!
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This sequel follows Nym, Rasha, and their frenemy, Myles, as they all travel to Bron as delegates and ambassadors. Nym is pitted against the evil Draewulf again, as she tries to uncover his dastardly plans while fighting to protect her friends and her sweetheart, Eogan.
The main character, Nym, is so depressed through all this book. I don’t think there’s a single cheerful scene in the whole book. As in the first book, I couldn’t connect with her character, although she is well-written and has great depth. There’s also a trigger warning for self-harm as Nym is still cutting herself for those tattoos. Sad.
I liked Rasha’s character, but she is rather static. She just reacts to whatever is going on, and doesn’t have a journey of her own or any character development. She doesn’t change enough through the story. I would have liked to see more of her in depth, instead of being a sidekick all the time.
The plot has all those great twists and action going on. The grim setting in Bron is well-described, the culture, the atmosphere, etc. As in the first book, the politics and war and councils and all that spy stuff didn’t really entertain me. I just couldn’t get interested for some reason, although it’s well-written. I liked that we discover further depths of the magic abilities in this world and where they come from!
I didn’t really care about any of the new supporting characters who are introduced. They are varied and distinct, and I felt like I ought to love them, but I felt little to no emotional connection with them.
I can’t really put my finger on why I don’t love these books. Everything appears correct and the writing is excellent, but I just don’t care about the story or the characters. It doesn’t draw me in. Meh.